Dealing with Difficult People – 7/23/17
Romans 12:18– Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.
Never Retaliate / Pray for Them
2 Samuel 16– Shimei Curses David, David doesn’t retaliate
2 Samuel 19 (Request for Justice) & 1 Kings 2 (Justice Delivered)
Pray for Yourself
Pray for a heart for all people
Colossians 3:12-34– Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Bless and Encourage Them
Hebrews 10:24– Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.
Ephesians 4:29– Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Speak Truth in Love
Ephesians 4:15– Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.
Don’t Run Away Unless Necessary
Moses grew in Humility and Compassion as he led the Israelites
The Israelites grumbled because they had no water (Numbers 11:4-6)
The Israelites wished they died in Egypt (Numbers 20:2-3)
The Israelites wanted to choose another leader (Numbers 14:2-4)
Moses prayed for healing for Miriam from leprosy (Numbers 12:13)
Moses prayed for the Israelites (Numbers 14:19)
Moses fasted 40 days and nights because of golden calf worship (Deuteronomy 9:13-18)
I am very particular about things. Some say I have OCD, but the doctor said it is only OCD tendencies. When it comes to scents, I like to stick with vanilla and honey or like ocean mists. Typically, the flowery scents attack my nose. Today I asked my daughter to pick out two hand soaps. I did not realize what I was getting myself into by giving her control of the hand soap selection. When I saw what she picked, after we were already home, I cringed at the one bottle. It was a flowery scent.
When I asked her why she selected the flowery hand soap, she said she didn’t look at the scents for the hand soaps. She did not consider scent at all. She selected the hand soap by picking up what was “pretty.” She thought the soap she selected—which she also noted was “special edition” – looked nice. Sadly, the smell leaves more to be desired.
In life, we often make decisions by the looks of things, including our decisions on the people with which we engage. We pass judgment. We turn our noses. We engage with people who look like us. We sometimes avoid people who look a certain way, whether it be due to lack of knowledge, a fear issue, or something else. We read what happened when God’s people wanted a king. They were given a king—King Saul. This man was the one who looked like a king. We later find out that though Saul looked like a king, he certainly was not someone who would lead his people in the right way. But then comes along David. He was a man after God’s own heart. He did not look like a king, but he sure had a heart for God. King David allowed God to do awesome things through him. He continued to keep His eyes fixed on the Lord. Today, be open to how God wants to use you. Be ready to receive anyone God sends your way!
“And when he had removed him, he raised up David to be their king, of whom he testified and said, ‘I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.’” – Acts 13:22 [ESV]
King Saul was told to destroy the Amalekites; he was given a command from the Lord. He disobeyed that command and God said, “I regret that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions.” Samuel was angry, and he cried out to the LORD all that night (1 Samuel 15:11-12 NIV).
Samuel was greatly disturbed when the Israelites wanted to have a king over them instead of recognizing God as their King. He was upset again when the anointed king would not follow the command of the Lord. He mourned. He went to Ramah and continued to grieve. God asked Samuel how long he would mourn—because there was still more to be done. God was to have him anoint a new king, King David.
There are moments in life when we get stuck in a hole, whether it be the sinking sand of failure or frustration or mourning or comfort (yes comfort), we don’t want to move. We embrace where we are at when God wants us to move forward. God told Samuel to fill up his horn—to get prepared and press onward and accomplish the task at hand. There’s more to be done my friend. Let us keep on keeping on.
“The LORD said to Samuel, ‘How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.’” 1 Samuel 16:1 [NIV]
There are moments in life when I need to be given a swift kick to get going. Remember Moses making excuses again and again when God called him to lead the people out of Egypt? Well Moses isn’t the only one who knows how to drag feet. I’m sure we all have been there; my toes have scars.
When Israel wanted a king and chose a human over God, Samuel was upset. Then Saul was anointed king and he did not follow in God’s ways. God then told Samuel that Saul would no longer be king, that He would select a man after his own heart to rule His people. We can sit back and see why God wanted a new king anointed and not feel the sadness, the fear, the frustration of Samuel. This was something Samuel never wanted to do the first time, and now he was going to have to do it again. What would Saul do? Why again? And he moped.
God told Samuel to get going. Get going. Get going. Is there something that is keeping you from moving forward? Perhaps God has something waiting for you to start or to finish, but you are dragging your feet. You are making excuses. You are moping. Repeat these words—get going. Get going. God has a great plan. Trust Him and get going.
“GOD addressed Samuel: ‘So, how long are you going to mope over Saul? You know I’ve rejected him as king over Israel. Fill your flask with anointing oil and get going. I’m sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I’ve spotted the very king I want among his sons.’”
-1 Samuel 16:1 [MSG]
Recently I read a posting from a friend who was sharing something she heard earlier on television. To summarize the discussion, she held that comfort and courage cannot coexist in life. I felt compelled to speak up because personally speaking I have both comfort and courage from Christ. I am not sure I would have the courage without the comfort.
I will always believe that both are possible. Yes sometimes we face difficult trials in life. I’ve had and still have many. I have the courage to step forward through the storms of life and the comfort to know I am not alone. It is all because of Jesus. It is summed up as confidence in God’s grace and His care.
Comfort and courage are actually used synonymously in multiple areas of the Bible. Psalm 23:4, “Your rod and your staff give me courage” [GW] and “your rod and your staff, they comfort me” [NIV]. How about 2 Corinthians 13:11, when Paul writes to “take courage” [WEY], whereas the YLT says, “be comforted”? I only have courage because I have the comfort of Christ. It is courage. It is comfort. It is confidence. Jesus is my hope. I pray you too can have the same comfort and courage in your life.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. – Psalm 23:4 [NIV]
These words we need to consider again and again in our lives. God said that he would never stop loving David and He also said He would never fail to keep His promise to Him. He promised that David’s line would continue forever. He promised always to be with David. He promised to bless David, to protect David, to love David. I could continue with the list.
The bottom line is that God promised many things to David and He is faithful. He also promises many things to us and He is FAITHFUL. In a world when we too often seek out the love of others, in a time when we many times will second guess His promises, God is still faithful. He loves you. He always will keep His promises to you.
Today let us consider this great unfailing love. Let us consider how blessed we are that He NEVER stops loving us. No matter what we do. No matter how we act. No matter who we are. He never stops loving us. His love for us has nothing to do with us and everything to do with who He is. He will NEVER stop loving you. Never.
“But I will never stop loving him nor fail to keep my promise to him.” – Psalm 89:33 [NLT]
When David was looking to buy a location to have an altar to offer burnt offerings to the Lord, Araunah was going to give him the place. David refused the offer. He insisted on buying it. Not only did he insist on buying it, but 1 Chronicles 21:24 said he wanted to pay the “full price.” He did not want to offer to the Lord something that cost “nothing.”
When we offer something to God, does it cost us something? Is it something we give out of our surplus? Is it something just sitting around collecting dust or is it something that matters to us? Is it a sacrifice to us or something that never would have caught our attention? David could have had the land for free but what would it then have meant to David?
At what cost do you sacrifice to the Lord? Do you pay “full price” or do you give little? This question is not only about money. Time. Use of talents. Recreation. Family. 1The list goes on and on. So what is your cost?
“But the king replied to Araunah, ‘No, I insist on buying it, for I will not present burnt offerings to the LORD my God that have cost me nothing.’ So David paid him fifty pieces of silver for the threshing floor and the oxen.” – 2 Samuel 24:24 [NLT]
“He is the Rock; his deeds are perfect. Everything he does is just and fair. He is a faithful God who does no wrong; how just and upright he is!” – Deuteronomy 32:4 [NLT]
When I was getting myself ready, my dog Max was awaiting outside the door for me. I find it interesting that he will deprive himself of the air conditioning to wait in the hot hallway for me to finish. This loyalty shown by Max is the same loyalty we see when we look at Ruth or David. Consider how Ruth was not only loyal to Naomi, but how she also accepted God as her God, and she walked in faith despite the situation. Consider how David was anointed to be king, and yet he spent so much time running from King Saul, hiding and away from his homeland before he even became king as he was promised.
We are called to be loyal and obedient to God. This is a command that we are to follow when times are good or bad. Even when we are in the middle of a storm in life and everything is looking dim, we are to walk forward in faith, with obedience, with loyalty. The first part of the Book of Ruth notes Ruth’s faithfulness to God; the second part shows us how God is faithful to Ruth as well.
God is faithful. God is still moving in our lives today. Today may be the toughest day of your life, but remember you are not alone and God is not finished yet.
Some people may ask, why Mary? Why was Mary chosen to be the mother of Jesus? There is honestly not much written about Mary or Joseph in the Bible. I believe Luke 1:28 from the Message translation helps to answer this question. This verse is part of a passage where the angel Gabriel visits Mary to foretell of the birth of Jesus. Mary was selected by God to be used for this great plan He had designed since the beginning. The angel says, “You’re beautiful with God’s beauty.” This is very different from other translations that say she is favored. Beautiful with God’s beauty. God’s beauty.
I began to think about the choosing of King David. The Israelites wanted a king so they could be like all of the other nations. Though God created His people to be set apart from others, He allowed them to have a king, King Saul. In time, King Saul showed that he lacked the characteristics that we see in God. In other words, King Saul was not representing God very well. It was soon thereafter that Samuel gathered the sons of Jesse so that God could show him the king that would replace Saul. David was chosen because God could see into his heart, and He saw what He liked. King David, just a shepherd boy at the time, found favor with God. He was beautiful with God’s beauty even before Mary was called beautiful with God’s beauty.
The next question is are YOU beautiful with God’s beauty? That is something we must all ask ourselves. If we have accepted Christ, one would hope that people would see this beauty in us– that a person would claim you had God’s beauty simply by being around you. When I think of us having God’s beauty I think of the fruit of the spirit– love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). I think of Christ and the qualities He demonstrated to us all. I am reminded of God’s forgiving nature as well as His promise to never forsake us. I am reminded of the importance of the condition of our hearts. This is something to think about as we get closer to Christmas day. Are you beautiful with God’s beauty? We are to love others, to forgive, to be generous, to have compassion, to be an example, to show grace. If we truly are, then I believe we are beautiful with God’s beauty.